So, my very first post on here talked about my morning as Piece of Ass, with my lovely four-year-old daughter, Piece of Ass Jr. I never posted it because, well, you know, the forgetfulness. Whatever.
So I just saw something on a blog that I read that made me think, this would be a better post for the blog than for Facebook. Why the hell not?
Let's start with harassment story time! Harassment, you guys! It's not an isolated issue!
I've mentioned on here, briefly, how I ended up coming to feminism because of how many goddamn black roses there were onstage at my first Vagina Monologues. I've been raped by two men, both when I was a teenager (there are other shady instances from adulthood that just haven't impacted me that strongly, so I don't really bother with them), both of whom were previous consensual partners, both of whom were my age at the time (sixteen and seventeen, respectively). I have no problem talking about it. My triggers are more from the verbal and slight physical abuse that I got in the more abusive relationship. That being said, rape is still kind of a big deal.
However, it's not like these are isolated incidents.
When I was eight years old or so I was on a playground by myself (and I was farther away from my house than I was supposed to be). A man came and started watching me jumping rope, and he told me that I was good at it. I was a trusting little kid, so sure, okay, I'm good at jumping rope. Then he asked me if I wanted to see something that only boys had. Now, I wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, but my mom didn't spend my childhood trying to hide what sex was from me, so I knew that dudes had junk, and this freaked me that absolute fuck out. I told him no, and politely asked if I could go home. He said yes, but then he tried to follow me. I sprinted and hid in a place that only I knew about, watched him walk by, waited until he was completely gone, and then went home.
When I was twelve we moved to an apartment complex that spent a very long time with areas under construction to get a golf course set up. Being, you know, fucking twelve, and prepubescent in most ways, I thought it was safe to walk around. I was safe walking around in my old apartment complex (which was the place we lived in after the one where the dude tried, strangely politely, to molest me).
Nope. Totally not safe. Everywhere I went, for most of the three years that I spent in this place, the landscapers and construction workers would hoot, holler, and whistle at me. Keep in mind that, while this is unacceptable when done to anyone, I didn't even look pubescent until probably sixteen or seventeen years old. They were harassing what, to all intents and purposes, appeared to be a little girl. (And, mentally, in a lot of ways that related to sexuality, I still was, even after I lost my virginity at fifteen.)
This scared me, of course. I couldn't set foot out of my own front door without feeling molested. However, it got worse, because the men started actually following me around. Now, mind you, I was a kid who wandered everywhere with impunity; I spent most of my childhood outside and alone and blissfully happy. I stopped that about at puberty because I didn't feel safe anywhere. I couldn't go fucking anywhere without a man following me around and making creepy noises at me. I thought this was weird until I asked a friend about it and she said that one of the men had tried to actually make a pass at her. So!
But, there was one guy I trusted. He took time to tell the other guys to shut up, would walk and talk with me, and didn't seem particularly creepy. I know now that, if some dude in his early- to mid-forties was trying to be BFFs with my thirteen-year-old, I would be creeped the fuck out, but I was thirteen, and I still trusted far, far more than I should. I'm pretty sure that this incident, and the later abuse, put an end to my trust problem.
Well, one night I was walking home in the twilight with a basket of laundry. The guy saw me and stopped to walk with me. Then, like you do with thirteen-year-old girls with their hands full, he waited until we got to a shadowy area and then grabbed me and stuck his tongue in my ear and groped at me. I don't remember how loudly I said no, but I would've started screaming bloody murder if he hadn't have stopped. He did. I went home. When I tried to report it to the apartments, since they employed him, they basically laughed me out of the office. Because, you know, a thirteen-year-old has a lot of goddamn reason to come to the office and bitch about fake sexual harassment. It totally wasn't fucking humiliating. Bonus points for when they pretended to try to verify my identity by asking me if my dad had a sister and what her name was, and THEN sent me home.
So, um, I was a little bit suspicious of dudes I didn't know at this point. Cue getting used to street harassment, because, you know, guys, it's really fucking sexy when you honk at women and scream at them from cars. Since I know that the dudes who do that aren't stupid enough to think that they're actually going to see some titties, I'm going to make the (correct) assumption that it's a public campaign of intimidation rather than attempts to get sex or to celebrate their sisters' beauty in the streets. Gotta keep bitches in their place, you know. Where this irritates most women, it just triggered me then, and actually terrified me, because I was afraid of being fucking raped. And now it actually makes me feel physically violent.
But surely, you must say to yourself, in adulthood, since I'm chubby now, since I'm a mom, since I'm not a teenager anymore, I haven't dealt with this! Surely!
Yeah, guess again. It's much less frequent, sure, but three incidents out of a few from the past few years stand out in my mind.
Back in 2008 I was walking to work in my usual work outfit: heels, a knee-length skirt, a blouse, whatever. And a dude drives by and screams, "Whore!" out the window at me.
No, I did not jump on his dick, despite the aspersions he cast on my character.
Then, back during Hurricane WhatTheFuck in September, I was stranded in the rain and was (un)fortunate enough to catch the attention of a gentleman who was willing to take me to class, provided, of course, I was willing to put up with repeated verbal sexual advances. Because when you see a desperate woman in the rain and you get her by herself in your car, when she can't get out and go anywhere, that's the fucking time to solicit sex. Who knows? Maybe she's a prostitute out in the rain! Bitch shouldn'ta been outside.
Then, a few weeks ago, I was sitting at the bus stop with my four-year-old. She is a very cute child, but if people have started catcalling her already then I'm seriously buying a fucking shotgun. I'm wearing jeans and a tank top because what the hell else would I wear? And we get to have the pleasure of some dudes in a big truck laying on their horns as loud as they can and hollering out the window at us. I'm guessing it was me since I'm the one with tits, but you can never tell with this kind of dude. And it got my daughter some special training for her happy future as a sex object!
Moral of the story? Back the fuck off of women, dudes. Just because they're outside doesn't mean they're cruising for cock, if they're in a situation when they're more powerless than you then you have absolutely no place trying to get them to fuck you, and I might put a fucking baseball bat through the window of the next guy to lay on a horn. Don't tell me this shit is isolated, because, if mousy little me has managed to accumulate that many incidents in one lifetime, and if all the other women I know aren't lying, for no reason, then we have a serious cultural issue.
Anyone got a baseball bat?